Tis’ the season!

‘Tis the season! The only time of year where a grown man can be as soppy as I am and not have it met by derogatory laughter. There are many things that warm the heart: the tree, the lights, the snow (I wish), the presents, the memories and the booze helps too. But the best thing about Christmas for me is the excuse to watch soppy movies all day long while over-eating and drinking. Over the last few weeks I’ve been a part of many a discussion on what movie should be considered ‘the best Christmas movie’. The simple answer: there is no such thing! They all seem to do the trick and tastes vary, but seriously: the passion people display in these discussions… Forget politics, religion, bake-off or the weather, if you really want to divide people: use Christmas movies!

A week and a half spend on determining if ‘Die Hard’ is a Christmas movie. Let’s all just agree that John McClane would be an awesome guest; just don’t pick him as your secret-Santa. And personally, I don’t feel that leaving a kid alone in your house over the holidays is a very ‘Christmassy’ thing to do, but what do I know? I do agree with Culkin that the movie would have been better with a heart-warming torture scene, but once again: personal preference.

So what do we look for in a Christmas movie? Snow, trees, lights, love, warmth, humor and a little magic!

An SNL master in a little green outfit? Maybe a story about another green funny man written by everyone’s favorite doctor? Perhaps we disappear into a magic book on an enormous flying dog? Or we hang out of a window asking a boy what day it is? We can always take a train-ride with the man formerly known as Gump. Some might need a star-studded wonderland where Mr. Bean annoys professor Snape with his gift-wrapping. Or a woman who has the heart of the sea exchange lives with one of Charlie’s angels? A black and white crazy man with a big beard and a young lawyer? Perhaps a remake where batman comes to meet Louise and she doesn’t tear off in a Thunderbird? Jimmy Stewart can show us all that we need to exist to make people happy. Or we need to understand what a Burtonesque Christmas looks like to show us how normal our own families are?

And perhaps even more counter-intuitive: while all that great food just sits there, we can’t feed them after midnight. Speaking of dysfunctional families: I always watch The Dark Crystal, at least once, thanks for that one mom and dad! But that movie does always lead me to the one movie that says it all. We take the lead actor; get him to bring his most beloved alter-ego, and just wait for him to say the sentence that truly rings in this festive season: ‘It’s not easy being’…. NO NO NO, not that one! This applies to our Christmas trees, as well as our hearts and minds: ‘It’s time to light the lights!’

A very merry movie watching Christmas to you and yours!

Green

07-08-2012

“A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.”

-Elbert Hubbard-

To quote a personal hero: “I don’t understand people who have one drink. I don’t understand people who leave half a glass of wine on the table. I don’t understand people who say they’ve had enough. How can you have enough of feeling like this? How can you not want to feel like this longer? My brain works differently.”

My very best friend in the world is a man I greatly admire, that man was once a boy. But even then he was my greatest source of inspiration. That man is no longer with us because of one stupid mistake; one flaw in his being that ruined everything.

I was only twelve years old and jumping up and down on a big bed. As a terribly sleazy song came to a close the adults in the room started applauding. They all sat on little stools and desk chairs, laughing out loud as they clapped.

Next to me was my best friend. His hazel curls dancing around his face as he danced. That was the moment he taught me what it is like to be admired and I never forgot. We belted out the final words to the song as our parents clapped even louder. Afterwards we all went downstairs and received a small amount of champagne in an incredibly tall glass; as that is what superstars drink according to my friend’s parents.

My best friend tapped me on the shoulder and gestured to the kitchen. I followed him without a word or our parents noticing. The dark green bottle with the golden label stood on the counter just within our grasp. He put his glass to his lips and poured the remainder of the golden liquid down his throat. Then he nodded at me, as if he gave me permission to do the same. The bitter taste made my throat tingle and my eyes water.

There we sat, on a rusty park bench. His long curls cropped short, my short hair grown down to my shoulders. Our parents, as they were in that kitchen years ago, were absent. He seemed unable to look at me as I recounted our wild adventures. I spoke of his brilliant plans and my complete trust, my oblivion, his guilt and our absolute devotion.

This was going to be the day of days, his seventeenth birthday! We would go out and paint the town as it has never been painted before. There we were, a club full of dancing people. His laugh took my nerves away. He walked to the bar and ordered us some vodka and coke. After we devoured these, in record time, he almost sprinted back to the bar for more. Widely smiling he handed me another drink, “Refill,” he said with a wink.

The evening ended as those kinds of evenings should: Drunk, singing at the top of our lungs on one stolen bicycle.

There we sat again, together, on that same rusty park bench outside the centre. For the same stupid reason in the same hot sun; parents still absent. Only this time we sat in complete silence. He broke the silence without looking at me as he mumbled: “sorry.” Grinning slightly I looked at him and said: “Making amends, that’s one of the steps, right? A break-through!” He grinned despite of himself and said under his breath: “We should celebrate.” I raised my hand and pretended to call a waiter over as I yelled: “Champagne!”

And, as if we were twelve years old again, we laughed ourselves to tears.

 

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Snap

 

21-07-2013

“Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists primarily in dealing with men.”

-Joseph Conrad-

Why are women in hoodies so fucking depressing?

I’m not talking about sweats; those things are awesome! Just as long as they don’t have anything written across the backside. Things scribbled across lovely asses like ‘juicy’ or ‘tasty’, make me feel physically ill. But sweats in general: fantastic! Hoodies on the other hand make beautiful creatures look like slobs or lovers of the meth of crystal. What saddens me even more than the fact that they make the most beautiful specimens of our species look like cheap hussies, is the fact that it always makes me feel a little strange. Not just because women always (!) look sad when they wear hoodies, but because of a thing that happened to me in a bar. Every time I see a hoodie clad female walk by, my knuckles ache. Don’t worry, I am not the kind of guy that smacks women around, completely the opposite. And that is why my hands tingle.

The story is very simple and never as epic as one would like these sort of stories to be. This one is extremely simple actually: Girls is sad, girl dates a dick, dick acts ‘dickish’ (as they so often do), dick hurts girl, friend of girl breaks his hand on dicks’ face. Simple, right? Or maybe not so much…

The plan for that day was the same as it was any other day: Go to class, meet some people after and see where the night may take us. In this case the ‘night’ was Tuesday afternoon, but who gives a damn? We’re students.

The afternoon lectures were canceled and instead of sensibly going to the library and study for a few hours, I decided to drag my friends down to ‘our’ bar; or ‘pub’ as they call it on the island. As I led the way in the bartender smiled widely at us just before his face turned apologetic. “Sorry mate,” he said as I reached the bar, “We usually don’t serve alcohol before one o’clock.” I looked at him in mock horror which made him laugh out loud before pouring my drink. “And give me five pints, please.” I said. He raised one eyebrow at me and asked: “Are you getting drinks for them again?” I shrugged before he added: “You know, people always say British folks are border-line alcoholics. But I think you bring it out in them.” I smiled dryly before answering: “It’s a dirty rotten job but someone has to do it.”

I took the drinks over to our regular table and looked around the pub. There were a few other students sitting a few tables away from us. At the other end of the bar sat a few work-men (proper fucking geezers) having their lunch-time pint. In between there just sat a few ‘normal people’ having lunch. As I sat down, a rough looking girl looked at me and gestured at the pool-table in the corner.

“Let me just have a smoke first,” I said getting to my feet. “Aren’t you joining me?” She rolled her eyes before rolling a ‘fag’. As we walked passed the bar towards the garden/smoking area (stupid puritanical smoking laws and all) the bartender mumbled: “Again with the bad influences.” I grinned before giving him a look that told him to bite me.

Once we had both finished our cigarette we moved back inside and the girl did not even take her coat off. She moved directly to the pool-table and inserted the right amount of change. As the ball rolled out onto the table she looked at me with a slight glint in her eyes. That told me she was feeling lucky and up to trying to beat me again, so I walked over to the bar to get another drink before we began playing.

When my friends and me play pool it’s not like how other people do it. The game works the same and has the same rules; it is the surrounding area that turns into war-zone of words. Turning pool into a much more exciting spectators-sport. As the first game drew to a close the verbal carnage was making half of our group piss themselves laughing. The other half was looking around hoping the other patrons would not mind us swearing like drunken (albeit well-educated) sailors. We doubled-up for the next game as some of the other group members made for the jukebox.

Outside, the sun had already set as we started our umpteenth game (and drink). We were being as loud as ever but no one seemed to mind, as the volume of the music easily matched ours. As I came back from the outside smoking area I noticed something that no one else seemed to have: A small girl dressed in grey slipped past the doormen inconspicuously. She was wearing a grey sweats and a hoodie with the hood up. A thin strand of blond hair looked out of place against all the dark grey of her ensemble. I smiled to myself before reaching the pool-table, where the observation about the grey-girl completely left my mind again.

A few minutes later I felt someone tapping me on my arm and as I turned to see who it was it turned out to be the ‘grey girl’. To my astonishment she turned out to be one of our friends: Beth. She is usually one of the ones out of our group to be the first to join me in the pub so we had already wondered where she was. Smiling widely I said: “There you are! We already wondered why you weren’t in class today.” She just shrugged without looking up at me.

I was about to turn around to announce her arrival to the rest of the group when she yanked my sleeve to stop me. Looking back down at her it dawned on me that she had not said a single word yet, which was unusual for her. She had not even looked up at me yet.

I stooped down a little to try and see under her hood and as I did my stomach recoiled. The entire left side of her face and lower lip were swollen and bruised. Her right eye was red and puffy, clearly caused by a lot of crying. “What the…” But the words got lost on the way to my mouth as her shoulder gave the slightest of shakes. She started crying silently and I saw that some of the people around us noticed there was something wrong. As I imagined she did not want to be bombarded with questions from all of her friends, I took her by the shoulders and steered her towards the door into the garden.

It was completely silent for a minute as we made our way to a bench in the corner of the garden. We sat down and she took a deep breath as if preparing herself for the cannonade of questions that were about to be unleashed upon her. Then she looked up and stared me full in the face. Up until that moment I had not fully freaked out, but the orange light of the heat-lamps showed her injuries in a sharper relief.

“Beth, What the fuck happened to your face?” Was all I seemed able to utter. She almost smiled as she said: “is that seriously the most original way of asking you to come up with?” I told her it wasn’t funny before asking her again what the hell happened to her. She just shrugged again and looked away from me. I had to grab her by the shoulders again and turned her face me. “Fell down the stairs.” She murmured under her breath.

As the penny dropped I felt the color drain out of my face. “Beth, where is Marcus?” I asked in a cold voice. She shrugged again. This time I grabbed her wrists but let go quickly as she winced. Before she could pull her arms out of my reach, I yanked her sleeves up and saw that there were bruises there too. Before I had consciously made the decision I had gotten my feet. “No.” She just uttered and I turned around to face her again. “It’s nothing.” She said, hanging her head and pulling her sleeves down. “Nothing?” I almost yelled at her. “Nothing? Oh, let me guess: the face was because you fell down some stairs and the wrists are just a weird sex-thing gone a bit overboard?” Her shoulders started to shake again and this would’ve usually calmed me back down, but it infuriated me even more. Through the silence saw she mumbled: “We were both angry and we lost control a bit.” “A bit?!?!” I yelled again. She sank into a deeper slouch and sobbed a little louder. “You should yell at me,” she muttered between sobs. “I yelled at him just like last time and he…” “Last time?” I asked as I sat back down next to her. She shook her head as I realized something else. Grabbing her arm again, this time gently, I rolled her sleeve back up her arm. As I looked at the bruises more closely I noticed that they seem to vary in color. “He has done this before, hasn’t he” I asked in a hollow voice. She nodded just once. That little not seem to take all the anger out of me and I wrapped my arm around her. “Tell me what happened.” I just whispered in her ear.

“We got up this morning, and all was well. He made coffee as I had a little bit of a lay-in.  He was so sweet; he brought me coffee and some toast and reminded me of my early lecture. I only just remembered and jumped out of bed. But as I did I also spilled the coffee all over the sheets. They were brand-new; his mother had just bought them for us. Then,” she hesitated at this point. “Then he just got a little angry.”

I sighed. “Darling, a little angry is when they cancel my favorite TV-show. This was not a little angry this was…” “I know what this was.” She said interrupting me. “I’m not sure you do.” I said looking her full in the face. That hatred welled back up as I saw the bruises again. “I left him.” She mumbled. “This afternoon. He did not agree…” Her voice trailed off as I can only imagine what he had done to express that disagreement.

I wanted to put my arm around her again but just before I could do so, she jumped up and said: “So it’s over now. Buy a girl a drink, would you? I seem to have forgotten my wallet.” “Over?”  I uttered.  But before I could go on she had already moved back to the door and opened it. I just signed and followed her.

As we walked back into the bar my mind was still buzzing with hatred and therefore I was completely unprepared for what was about to happen. All I heard was a sharp intake of breath from the small bundle of gray beside me. When I looked up I understood why she had just made that frightful little noise. Standing in the doorway was a wild looking young man. His eyes searching the entire room for something, or someone. My mind still buzzing I could only react naturally and looked down at the girl besides me. As I stared into her battered face something sparked within me. Something I had never felt or understood before: I snapped.

I ran across the room bumping into people on my way, but I did not care. All I wanted to do was get to this man as fast as possible and hurt him as much as possible. He looked surprised as he saw me coming towards him. He opened his mouth to ask me something but before he could, my hand flew up and I felt the sweet sensation of knuckle sinking through that thin layer of flesh before connecting hard with the cheek-bone.

My mental blur seemed not to impede my accuracy as I hit him again and again. His face, his midriff, his shoulder and his face again. As this last blow struck home he raised his arms to try and defend himself but was knocked off his feet. I tried to jump forward to land on him. But before I could bend my knees I felt two sets of arms grabbing me.

Jimmy, the scruffy boy from our group would always had a crush on Beth and one of the door-men tried to restrain me. “What the hell are you doing?” Jimmy shouted in my ear, slightly out of breath with the effort of restraining me. I did not answer for a moment as I was still trying to get at that loathsome little fuck lying on the floor. Then I stopped struggling but the two men did not released their hold on me. “Look at Beth.” I growled and thrusted my head in her direction. I could feel both men turning their heads, freezing for a moment and then releasing me. But before my brain had registered the freedom my eyes noticed the flash of brown hair besides me. It was Jimmy, diving for Marcus. The door-man and I just stood there and we watched how this scruffy man-child lunged for his prey. Jimmy grabbed the front of Marcus’s jacket and attempted to punch him in the face. But Marcus, who seemed ready this time, defended himself by kicking Jimmy in the unmentionables and throwing his attacker off. Struggling to get to his feet he was unprepared for my right foot flying towards him. As it made contact with his face he moaned and fell back.

The blur of punches and kicks that followed have been suppressed from my memory but apparently the 2 door-men stepped in when Jimmy and I were only punching a limp sack of flesh and broken bones.

The bar emptied, except for the people in our group. Some of the girls had taken seats next to Beth. She seemed to have gone into complete shock. She just sat on a stool resting her hands on the bar, staring at Jimmy and me with a mixture of amazement and disgust. The door-men had helped the ambulance personnel load Marcus into the ambulance and were now talking to the three police officers. I was trying to light a cigarette with one hand as the other was currently resting in a bucket of ice. Pete, the bartender, walked over and said: “you know it’s still not allowed to smoke in here, right?” Then he took the lighter from me and lit my cigarette. I nodded my head in thanks before I asked him: “Could you get me a drink?” He pulled a face and said: “Are you sure you want that? The police are going to want to talk to you.” I grinned before replying: “I know, and I also know I don’t want to be the only one in their cell tonight that is sober.” He grinned and poured a fair amount of amber liquid into a glass.

“You boys should have warned me in advance.” He said as he slid the drink over. I just gave him a questioning look as he leaned in and replied: “I could have loaned you my emergency cricket bat, then we wouldn’t have had to deal with the ambulance.” I just grinned at him before he continued: “I suppose I should thank you guys,” he got another questioning look from me. “This town thought this pub was going a bit soft with all the students coming here.” I actually chuckled at that but quickly stopped as the police officers walked in. The one in front looked a few years older than the others and he seemed he out-rank them too, as he was the one that spoke to me.

“You the two boys that caused all this, then?” he asked in a stern voice. “No officer.” I responded before Jimmy could even look up. “My friend here was just trying to hold me back.” The policeman just nodded and then said: “That’s an American accent. Are you a Yank?” “No sir.” “But you aren’t British, are you?” I almost smiled before responding: “No sir.” He nodded again and walked down the bar towards Beth. “Excuse me, young lady,” he said to her in a much gentler tone than he had used with me. “I am led to believe that you were involved in all this somehow.” Beth seemed to come out of a revelry and turned to face the officer. As she did, her hood slid down and we could all see the bruises on her face. The officer’s eyes narrowed slightly before Beth had the time to nod. The officer rummaged in his pockets and took out the little white card. “If you want to press any charges or if anything like this was to happen again…” He handed her the car and walked back to me. Without looking at them he clearly addressed his two fellow officers. “You know the problem with these damn foreigners?  Their passports are so bloody confusing I never know what to write down. Every time I want to get back to them, say when: a potential victim wants to have them arrested.  I always seem to have written down the wrong number or name. Therefore I can never find them again. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?”  He looked me full in the face as he said the last few words and I saw his two colleagues nodding in understanding. I could’ve also sworn I saw the officer winking at me. Then he turned on his heel and said to the room at large: “Your kids stay out of trouble now. And have a drink, on me, to calm the nerves.” Then he turned once more to look at me and said: “You know, the bartender was right, it is still illegal to smoke in here. You wouldn’t want me to give you a ticket now, would you?”

 

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Introduction week

04-12-2012

“A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults.”

-Mario Puzo-

The rain pounded the tin roof as if a marching band was rehearsing. His nostrils flared and the smell of rotting paper and diesel hit his nose. His ears detected the downpour outside as it made its assault on the roof. The hairs on his neck stood up, and not just because of the light gust of wind; he heard voices. They seemed to come from a different room. Jonathan opened his eyes.

He had only seconds to look around the warehouse before a door opened and seven men came walking out. They all looked too well dressed. Only now Jonathan felt the thin plastic bonds tied around his writs and ankles. He squirmed around in the chair as the men advanced. Jonathan recognized some of them and sighed. It wasn’t a sigh of relief.

A man stopped a few feet from him and spoke: “Little Johnny, how nice of you to drop in.” Jonathan hesitated, looked at him with a polite smile and answered: “Vasili, a warehouse? Could you be any more of a fucking cliché?” The man rushed forward and punched Jonathan’s face. The thump reverberated through the room and before the echo died, Jonathan had already looked back up. The large man straightened himself before muttering to the others: “All that university seems to have taught him is to be even more of a smarmy bastard.” Some chuckled but some seemed shocked by the sudden outburst of violence. Jonathan flexed his muscles, making the little plastic bonds creak. “The single light bulb is a nice touch,” he said with a smile. “Maybe it should be swaying.” Then he spat blood. “Continue?” the older men asked. “You think we are here to torture you?” He seemed genuinely offended. “Oh no, off course not, Don Ricardo,” Jonathan smiled at him. “I forgot: the rules of etiquette clearly state that one must tie one’s guests to a chair and beat them.” All the men turned towards the large man called Vasili. He smiled at Jonathan’s remark. “They do in my country.” He murmured. Then he walked around Jonathan’s chair and pulled it around.

Just out of the light sat five young people. The big man smiled. “We just thought it would be a good idea for your little friends to find out what you are,” he took a deep breath before he put his knuckles to Jonathans jaw again while screaming: “A rat!”

The other men walked towards the hostages and took the gags out of their mouth. They looked battered. One of the girls had her hair covering her face. The boy next to her had a black eye and bruises. The other two looked even worse. “Do you kids even know what your friend is?” Vasili asked them. The friendly boy looked at Jonathan before looking at the other four. Then all of them cringed as a blood-curdling scream split the dusty silence. Vasili had plunged a knife into the boy’s knee. The blade sunk in deep and all that remained visible was the grip. Vasili laughed out loud as Jonathan lurched so far forward that his chair toppled over. He rolled onto his back and yelled: “Go ahead Vasili, tell them how my dad was the gangster that brought you all together, how I’m running the family now and suppressing you for years! They already know. And you, Don Ricardo, how can you stand for this?” The older man shifted his walking stick and walked over to Jonathan. “Untie me now, and I will let you walk away with your life.” Jonathan growled under his breath. The old man did not look down at him but just stared at Vasili before he snapped his fingers. In a flurry of movement two men pulled Jonathans chair up and cut his bonds. The old man’s voice cracked as he spoke: “We never agreed on the torture of kids.” Vasili’s face lost the little color it had left before his eyes bulged in horror as the old man helped Jonathan to his feet and handed him something. Vasili scrambled back as he yanked the knife out of the boys knee and pressed it against the kind face. “One more step and this boy loses an eye!” he yelled in horror. Jonathan gave him a piercing look and raised the gun. Vasili looked frightened now, dropping the knife and backing away from the boy, into the shadows, where he sunk to his knees and started pleading. “Please Johnny, I just longed for the old days. I wanted a bit more money, you know how it is.”

Jonathan advanced on the fat Russian, who was now sobbing. “Go now, and take Tom to hospital,” he barked at his friends. “You guys don’t have to see this.” They left but none of them failed to hear the loud bang.

They all gasped as Jonathan joined them, out in the rain. He removed his suit jacket, now splattered with blood and handed it to the old man. “What’s done is done,” he said without any emotion. Jonathan lit a cigarette, smiled at his classmates and apologized before saying: “See you in class on Monday.”

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A sunny day in May

23-05-2012

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for a smile is the beginning of love”

-Mother Teresa-

There I was, working my medial and stupid job. Sitting around for hours, after working too hard for the little I got paid.  When she walked in.

Most people, even those I had to work with, said hello and walked on. They walked on to whatever they had to do there, or whatever they wanted to do. But she didn’t. She didn’t even ask me what all this crap was doing in the lobby of her office. She just found a rickety old chair and sat down. She sat down and talked to me. She didn’t give me her name, or asked for mine. We just talked, for what seemed like hours, about trivial things that were of no real importance to either.

It was only after she walked up the stairs to get something from her office that I dared to pause, take a breath and think. She had told me just enough to do a stupid Internet search. By the time she got back downstairs to leave, I had not yet figured out who she was. She offered me a piece of her food, which I had to deny because I felt dumbfounded by the mere gesture. And then she left, leaving me, and the hole that I was unaware of.

There I stood, feeling like a blinded man who was given back his sight. Up until that point in my life I had met statesmen and royalty, poets and artists. I had seen brilliance and beauty; I had felt unconditional happiness and world-ending sadness. But not until that moment I realized there was one thing missing in my life: Perfection.

There it was, walking away from me. And as she waved casually, there came the realization. The undeniable truth, that even if I never saw her again I knew: This was the thing my heroes wrote about. This was the woman they tried to explain to me. This was the peace they strode to find and the one I got a glimpse that day. That medial but sunny day in May.

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The new girl

09-10-2011

“It will be a love story and she will be my heroine for all time, and her name: Viola”

-Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard-

It was early Saturday evening and I was polishing up glasses and putting bottles in order as the bars manager, Otis, came walking up to me. “Hey Cocktail artist!” He grinned while clapping me on the shoulder. “You have made this place so enormously popular I’ve had to hire some new waitresses.” I smiled back at him and mumbled something so he knew I heard him. Then he moved on to tell my colleague, Mike.

I watched Mike’s eyes lit up as Otis said the words ‘new waitresses’ and shook my head at him. After Otis had clapped him on the shoulder too, Mike came over to stand next to me. “Don’t say it.” I said, knowing it would have no effect. “New waitresses.” Mike almost moaned. I closed my eyes at the inevitable vulgarities that were about to spout from mike’s lips, and so they did. After he was done I gave him a slightly exasperated look. “What?” He replied, knowing full well ‘what’. “Mike,” I said smiling at him again. “If you live your life between your legs you’ll never see over this bar to begin with.” He laughed at this before countering with: “Well, if I have difficulty making eye contact with them, maybe you have a chance to get laid!” I threw the cloth that I had been using to wipe the glasses with at his head.

Later that evening, just before the night had really started, four blonde young women walked into the bar. Mike raised one eyebrow at me while smiling like a kid in a candy store. “Behave!” I said under my breath as the girls came up to the bar. They told us that they were our new waitresses and introduced themselves. Mike took each of their hands in his and kissed them. I rolled my eyes, introduced myself and then said: “Wait here, I’ll get the manager.” Mike, probably trying to show off beat me to it. He yelled across the room at Otis, who was sitting at a corner table arranging the menus: “Oti!” Otis looked up from the menus and yelled back: “What?” “The new girls are here.” “Good,” Otis replied, “show them where they can change.” Mike led the girls to the backdoor into the little kitchen. After he opened the door for them he turned and yelled again at Otis: “How many did you say there would be?” Otis did not look up from the menus this time but just yelled back: “Five, but one of them called to tell she would be a little late.”

About two hours later the first customers had begun to show up and Mike and I were throwing some bottles around to warm up. “Excuse me,” said a little voice from the bar. As I looked over I almost dropped the bottle I just caught. “I am supposed to start working here tonight?” She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Big blue eyes stared out at me from under long sheets of silver white hair. A current went through my entire body before settling somewhere in my throat, leaving me unable to speak. A shattering sound brought me back to me senses and I was able to look away from her mesmerizing eyes. Mike was laughing and said loud enough for everyone to hear: “Guy hasn’t dropped a bottle in two years, pretty girls walks in and look what happens.” I looked back at the amazing girl half expecting her to have disappeared like a dream. But she was still there, still looking at me and smiling slightly. “I’m sorry,” I spluttered. “What did you say?” Her smile widened a little before she answered: “I am supposed to start work tonight.” I put the bottle down, “Yes, please follow me.” She walked around the bar her perfect hair slightly fanning out behind her. She seemed to catch every eye in the room. All the men were looking as I felt, as if they just had the wind knocked out of them. All the women looked at her with slight looks of envy before looking away again. I opened the door to the kitchen and told her she could change in there. As soon as the door had shut behind her Mike swung one arm around my shoulder and said: “Am I seeing this correctly? Mister ice heart has a case of the jitters?” I shrugged of his arm but before I could start denying he spoke over me. “I don’t blame you mate, look at her.” He whistled softly through his teeth and continued: “No worries, I’ll help you!” As I started saying: “No, Mike please…” The door behind me opened again and she came out, looking fabulous even in the black top waitresses wore around here. “I’m sorry,” she said while finishing tying her apron around her waist. “I never introduced myself.” She stuck out her hand to shake mine. “I’m Nina.” I immediately felt my palms starting to sweat at the idea of touching her hand. Quickly wiping them on my pants I clasped her hand gently and said: “I’m Jack, and this is Mike. The big black guy sitting in the back is Otis, he’s the manager.” As she let go of my hand my entire body seemed to scream in protest but I stayed still. “So how many people are you expecting tonight?”

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The Bookstore

22-04-2010

 “When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain”

-William Shakespeare-

It’s strange: I see a couple in a bookstore. A girl who is dressed and pressed, even in this terrible weather. Which, by all standards, made her look a little superficial. She was drop dead gorgeous. That’s why the boyfriend fell out of place, next to her radiance. But he looked well natured an not completely un-intelligent. I figured that he must have dragged her here to fill the beauty with something worthwhile. Imagine my amazement when I saw him yawning as she started taking down books from shelves.  I grinned to myself as she dumped a whole load of these books on a table and started to skim read some of them. The boy just stood there playing with his umbrella. I felt like such a dick. I had to go over and apologize.

And so I did, and the next 2 weeks we spend multiple nights together talking about words and books and stories in between passionate coitus. I was amazed that woman this beautiful could not only be charmed by words but was so turned on by them. As we lay panting and sweaty on her bed she looked at me and wrapped her voluptuous naked body around me. “I am so tired and yet not ready to go to sleep. Would you please quote me to sleep again?” I grinned and kissed her. What will I get in return? She went along with my game and looked at me abashed. ” After the mind numbing sex I just gave you, I think you owe me” I laughed out loud. “You gave me!?” I spluttered, “Was I not a little bit evolved too? And if I am not very much mistaken you were not complaining anywhere.” She looked at me with her puppy eyes and hugged me a little tighter. “That’s right, so maybe just because I said please then?” I smiled and kissed her back. “Fine, what will it be tonight?” She looked very pleased and happiness seemed to radiate from her as she nestled herself against me and rested her head on my shoulder. “I think only the bard himself can make me happier than I am already.” I did not speak for a moment and lay there in total happy amazement. Then I brushed her hair out of her face and whispered:

“When my love swears she is made of truth, I do believe her though I know she lies…”

She fell asleep halfway through the poem but I did not want or dare to stop because I was afraid that she might wake and I could never cut a sonnet like this short.

“Therefore I lie with her and she with me, and in our faults by lies we’d flattered be.” I finished and looked at her happily sleeping face. I lay awake for minutes that might have been hours. Looking at her wondering in full amazement why it was possible for her to be this perfect.

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